Author: Kate Elliott
Publication: Orbit (September 9, 2010)
Description: From one of the genre's finest writers comes a bold new epic fantasy in which science and magic are locked in a deadly struggle.
It is the dawn of a new age... The Industrial Revolution has begun, factories are springing up across the country, and new technologies are transforming in the cities. But the old ways do not die easy.
Cat and Bee are part of this revolution. Young women at college, learning of the science that will shape their future and ignorant of the magics that rule their families. But all of that will change when the Cold Mages come for Cat. New dangers lurk around every corner and hidden threats menace her every move. If blood can't be trusted, who can you trust?
My Thoughts: I very much enjoyed this action-packed adventure. The story starts with a forced marriage between "the eldest Hassi Barahal girl" and a Cold Mage named Andevai Diarriso Haranwy. Cat is the older of the two girls. She is an orphan who has been raised by her aunt and uncle. All she has of her father are a variety of journals that he wrote on his many trips to explore and gather knowledge. Cat is the only survivor of a ferry accident that killed her parents and many others.
She is swept away from home and into a world of magic that she couldn't have imagined. Cat's life is even more disrupted when Andevai blows up an airship on their way out of town which means that they are fleeing from angry mobs and legal forces as they make their way to his master. Upon arrival they learn that the Hassi Barahals have deceived the Cold Mages. Cat is not a Hassi Barahal. All she has always believed about herself are proven false. Andevai's master demands that he kill her so that he can marry the correct daughter.
Cat flees with the assistance of a number of individuals. She wants to get to her cousin Bee to protect her. Along the way she learns more about her parentage and abilities. She also learns about the revolution that is brewing in her country. The ordinary people are rebelling against the Mages and the Princes.
This was an excellent start to a series. The world-building is complex and the world built is fascinating. I liked the way the magic was woven into the world. I am eager to read the rest of this trilogy. Cold Fire will be on my wishlist as soon as it is available to order.
I recommend this book to lovers of complex fantasy in a well-developed fantasy world.
He stopped sipping, his eyes raised to mine with the rim of the cup poised at his lips. He blinked several times, as at light breaking suddenly in a dim room, and lowered the cup. "I am at a loss as to what may have precipitated this outburst."Challenges: RYOB Reading Challenge, Paranormal Reading Challenge
No one ever said I was wise. I had meant to keep silence, to be meek, to not extend my claws.
"Torn from my family with no explanation. My lineage and clothing insulted. Left hungry because perfectly good food and wine do not meet your ridiculous standards of taste. Almost killed by an act of sabotage that may have done untold damage to buildings and neighborhoods and for all I know to innocent people as well as precipitating, as far as I can tell, a riot whose mob might well have torn me limb from limb, and you besides, coincidentally. I had to be given a coat and gloves by your coachman! Shall I go on?"